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Cyber attack on Washington County now considered ransomware attack

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Pa. — The cyber attack Washington County has been dealing with for two weeks now is a ransomware attack and the county is in active negotiations. County commissioners held an emergency meeting Tuesday afternoon to allocate hundreds of thousands of dollars to deal with it.

It’s been two weeks since a cyber attack hit Washington County. The county has been working around the clock to get people back online. Some systems are still down, and IT professionals are still working tirelessly.

>> Washington County government targeted by hackers

Meantime, behind the scenes county leaders, the FBI and Homeland Security are also still working on securing the system against future attacks and dealing with an apparent ransomware issue.

Yesterday county commissioners called a last-minute emergency meeting to approve several measures.

11 investigates obtained two of the motions: one to retain a cyber security firm out of Chicago to restore the county’s computer network, implement broader cyber security, plus pay for lawyer fees and settlement. It would cost about $400,000.

The other motion would authorize the county solicitor to execute any engagement agreements related to the ransomware attack.

All money will come from the county’s American Rescue Plan funds...

The county solicitor said this is the correct usage of the funds.

Channel 11 looked it up, and according to the guidelines, funding priority areas do include modernizing high-priority systems and cybersecurity.

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